Now this is a New Year’s Quote

I can support wholeheartedly. I saw it yesterday on A Guy Called Bloke’s blog.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

~ Neil Gaiman ~

City Kids

Back in the day (oh gawd don’tcha just hate that phrase?) us city kids played in the streets. Nowadays kids play in their rooms on their electronics or in organized sports leagues/teams.  We were always outside, even when the weather wasn’t so great. There were city playgrounds where you could play on the swings and monkey bars, (now verboten because – opps, kids might get hurt) and see-saws.  There was a “parkie” who would dispense basketballs and even board games like checkers and chess (there were stone tables with the boards painted on). The parkie also kept major mayhem from breaking out and was responsible for opening and locking the playground.  Some playgrounds had skully and potsy  lines painted as well.

But most of the time we played skully, potsy, box ball, and stoop ball on the sidewalk in front of our homes. The streets were for stickball, and catcher/flyers/up, War and Red Rover. As I recall games like Ringolevio were started later in the day and were called for dinner, some kids called the game for dark but we played in the dark – lots of streetlamps where I lived.

Oh yes there was basketball and all that – so many games that involve a ball of some size. Lots of ‘tag’ games, lots of running around, lots of dodging cars in the street (and yes, dodgeball, which to my mind  is a nasty little game.)

What I remember most pleasantly is that Summer evenings the older kids would include the little kids in kinder gentler games of tags – like freeze tag or statues – we played those on grassy areas so the littles wouldn’t get hurt – I remember that so vividly.

I wonder what kids today will remember? Or for that matter what do all the named and numbered generations after mine remember of their youth?

Perverse Child – Part 3

The story of me, the carnival and the cowboy gun and holster –

Time: 1950 or thereabouts, I was 4 -ish

Place: Somewhere in the Bronx at a street carnival.

Action: A game of chance booth, the carnival version of roulette. My daddy lets me choose a number. I win. I ask for the cowboy gun and holster set. I get handed a doll. I have a temper tantrum – I want the gun and holster. I throw the doll on the ground and smash it. I demand the gun and holster. My daddy drags me away crying.

End of story.

More Evidence That I Was A Perverse Child

Y’all think I’m a little strange, right? Sometimes I have a slightly skewed take on things. Well, I’ve kinda always been this way. As evidence, here is a story I wrote in 7th grade (approximately 1958/1959) which was published in our school “literary” magazine. Every time I read it I have to laugh. First because it is so badly written and second because I still think a kid who thinks like that is just a teeny tiny bit weird.